Catlin calls for togetherness after Guy talks

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Mark Catlin has called for togetherness as Pompey attempt to drag their season back on track.

Anger has been stirred among Blues fans following three defeats in a week – the latter two being abject performances at Newport and AFC Wimbledon.

As a result, Guy Whittingham’s place as Pompey boss has come under scrutiny amid heavy criticism from some supporters.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s woeful 4-0 defeat at the Dons, Whittingham and some members of his backroom staff were called to a meeting headed by chief executive Catlin and chairman Iain McInnes at Fratton Park last night.

Talking to The News after the two hours of talks, Catlin insisted the manager’s job is not under threat.

The Pompey board view the pre-seasaon target of seventh spot still a realistic aim, with the Blues six points away – and with a game in hand following the Wycombe abandonment.

In addition, starting with Scunthorpe this weekend, six of the next eight games are all at Fratton Park as the year 2013 draws to a close.

And Catlin has urged supporters to rally around the manager as he attempts to improve on the recent wretched displays.

He said: ‘That was completely unacceptable at Wimbledon and everyone around the club and playing side know those performances are not good enough for Portsmouth Football Club.

‘But the reaction has been over the top in my view.

‘Guy isn’t in any immediate danger. We have a long-term plan and the important thing as a club is we rally around the team – as the fans always do.

‘Guy was set a target by the board and details of that is between him and us. He is still well within the parameters and, despite those bad performances, we are not changing our strategies.

‘As a responsible club, we have built commitment to Pompey into our DNA. Now there are two big games coming up, with six of the next eight matches at home.

‘Guy has done so much work off the field that has gone unnoticed and shown commitment to us – now it’s time to show it him back.

‘It is not about the easiest decision but the right decision.’

Last night’s meeting did not involve players but ‘key people’, according to Catlin.

And the chief executive revealed it consisted of positive discussions designed to show support and assistance to the manager.

He added: ‘We have had a meeting with key people at the club and it was all about helping Guy and making this club a better place.

‘The meeting was completely positive and not about negativity.

‘We have asked what he needs from us and we intend to respond to that.

‘We want to give help to anyone at this club, this is what we are about.’